Hamilton proud to ‘knock down walls’ to F1

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he is proud to see more drivers from under-represented backgrounds entering motorsport.

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Comment of the day

Would Alfa be better off in touring cars?
Jay was surprised to read Sergio Marchionne stating that Alfa Romeo need to sell more cars before being represented in F1:

Curious comments by Marchionne. Needing to sell more cars before getting into F1? Isn’t it the other way around?

Or is it the fact that Alfa has completely dropped out of the average person’s imagination? I’d like to think so. When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, all I ever wanted was a GTV6 and then a 155, also used to love the old Alfettas. They were sexy cars, as they stood out, it had a element of madness in chic sort of way. For all its unreliability, I’d still have one, just for the way they used to look. But over the last decade or so (the 156 was the last Alfa that looked like an Alfa), the sex and madness seems to have been shoved in a back cupboard somewhere while being subject to a Fiat-Chrysler brainwash.

The real question is, should they be coming into F1? I’d say no. They should go back to touring cars where the aesthetics of the Alfa can be appreciated. The BTCC 155 of the early nineties is permanently etched in my memory as one of the most beautiful touring cars of all time.
Jay Menon (@jaymenon10)

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On this day in F1

David Coulthard won the Austrian Grand Prix on this day 15 years ago. Behind him Rubens Barrichello surrendered second place to Michael Schumacher on Ferrari team orders – a foretaste of what was to follow one year later when Barrichello was leading on the last lap.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “Hamilton proud to ‘knock down walls’ to F1”

  1. Two walls that still haunt Lewis, IMO, are the press, and the pedaling of certain stereotypes, and his own team, with the ‘reliability’/design issues hes had to contend with in the last two years. When Lewis gets a decent/clean run at a championship and the press stop questioning his commitment/consistency/emotional state/motivation/’brain power’/etc… Then I think he will have done just about as much as one man can do, if he can do that with out selling out to a lie, then he will have accomplished something great. Fingers crossed for Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Not disagreeing just saying that Rosberg had a throttle pedal failure and 2 cleaning fluid contaminations? Weird reliability for Mercedes.

    2. A clean run like in 2015?

    3. Sam Crawford
      13th May 2016, 8:00

      Hahaha #PrayforLewis am I right?

      He’s had 2 major failures this season, big deal, he had more than his fair share of luck in the past 2 seasons. I for one don’t like his personality, I think he’s condescending, too quick to blame others when things don’t go right and puts on a false “laid back” persona. I’d rather he be aggressive and calculating in press conferences like he is on the track.

      1. Presumptuous nonsense.
        What evidence do you have that he ‘puts on a false laid back persona’? You are his shrink? Who are you to decide what he should be like on or off the track? Who cares what you’d rather he was like?

      2. I am not a Lewis fan really, but I don’t think it’s put on at all. He is just a very complex, sometimes conflicted individual who is very intelligent but sometimes gets undone rationally by emotion. No one ever does or says things for no reason, for every thing he does that makes me cringe, there is another side to that story that none of us, but especially people who don’t know him don’t get to see.

        The entirety of what we see is what comes through the media, which, as good as it can be, can never really convey the people we are watching as they really are.

        This is why I love when drivers go live on facebook or why watching the press conferences are so interesting. Because sometimes we do actually get to see the real person. And when you do that, it is impossible not to like them all at least a little bit.

      3. Tony Mansell
        13th May 2016, 15:41

        AHh bless, you don’t like his personality. And you base your comments on the few seconds you see him being interviewed on telly!!! Its almost funny. However I just did make my mind up about someone based on one post so perhaps its possible

    4. There is a third wall for Lewis to break down, win a race in 2016 and remove the monkey from his back.

      Lewis has had just as much of a fair run this year as anyone. Compare his luck to Vettel’s luck. There is no such thing as making an F1 car that is bullet proof, it’s part of the game. Plus one must contend with the other drivers on the track. There are far too many things that can go wrong with these engineering masterpieces.

      Who is to say that Rosberg hasn’t figured something out with the style in which he drives the car. Maybe his style of driving gets more from the current Merc.

      In the end, Rosberg has simply outperformed thus far.

  2. Major manufacturers don’t get into motor racing to win. That’s a rather silly reason. They get into racing to test technology to put on their road cars. That is Marichionne’s goal: put Alfa into F1, and their cars will be better engineered. With the exception of Ferrari and maybe Mercedes, all manufacturers enter racing for that reason. Ferrari started out as a racing team in 1929- Enzo Ferrari started making cars in 1947 to fund his racing. Every other manufacturer have the exact opposite approach to the automotive business.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      13th May 2016, 6:15

      They enter to get brand recognition/association; and you get most of that when winning.
      If just testing, then there are many other alternatives where you won’t risk burning your face.

      1. @coldfly

        nono, we see so many diffusers, wing endplates, F-ducts and coanda exhaust systems on production cars, it’s really really important to test it on F1 first

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          13th May 2016, 7:58

          So Aston Martin is testing the aerodynamic impact of their bonnet logo ;-)

          I don’t think we’re really disagreeing.
          My point is that manufacturers only want to put their name to it when there are successes. Otherwise they would test anonymously (provide technical support to a team) or secretly (outside of a competition).

          1. who was it that once said… “win on Sunday, Sell on Monday”?

            “vincere la Domenica , vendi il Lunedi” :)

          2. I’ve always associated that phrase with NASCAR.

          3. @robbie, the phrase certainly seems to have been much more commonly used in the US stock car racing scene, even if, pretty much throughout the history of that series, the cars were “stock cars” in name only.

  3. It would be great if the Tilke’s goal was, at least once, to make a good racing circuit.

    1. That was pretty much exactly what I thought.

    2. That’s exactly what I thought as well. It’s almost like Tilke hasn’t been briefed on the objectives before he designs a circuit.

    3. Yep

    4. indeed @hoshino. It clearly points to the fault in design being in the basic concept they start from, a great racing track just is not a priority factor in the overall design.

    5. I wonder what he would do, if he had no rules to limit him. What would he build and where?

      We shall probably never know.

  4. I’m so sad for Kvyat.

    He seems like the kind of guy who, going by some flashes of brilliance such as Spa 2015 and his Shanghai start this year, does have “it” somewhere deep inside him, but who is clearly unable to produce the goods as consistently as, say, Ricciardo, probably due to feeling the pressure more. (And please don’t start on a Kvyat>Ricciardo debate cause we’re kind of past that one.)

    But at the same time it’s still ringing in my ears how he, after his umpteenth great overtake in Spa drew a compliment from the team on the radio, enthusiastically replied “thanks guys” and his voice just seemed to relieved that he’s doing well and proud that he could deliver for his team… And being axed by your team, for a guy like this, it must be a truly horrible feeling – to know that you were so dedicated yet it didn’t work out…

    In fact it did seem from a few shots today that he hasn’t had much sleep and/or cried quite a bit in the past few days, so baggy and red his eyes were…

    1. *seemed so relieved

    2. I thought he did a great job last year. I had predicted he’d be a good match for Ricciardo, and he was. I didn’t think he was better than Ricciardo, but he was much closer than people on this site make him out to be. I just don’t think Kvyat played the inter team politics or Red Bull media friendly game well enough. That could be the reason about him talking about what goes on off the track and behind the curtain.

      I’m sure he’s even more gutted to lose the seat to Verstappen, who hasn’t really proved himself capable of driving for a top team yet. Nonetheless, I expect Kvyat to bounce back from this, and land a good drive for himself out of the Red Bull stable next year. He’s definitely more worthy of being on the grid than a lot of drivers out there.

      1. He’s likely to cause even more trouble mid-pack with his torpedo style.

        1. Dude, it was one race. I’ve seen all the current WDCs on the grid with worst moments than that

          1. Exactly, it was one race and the “torpedo” comment came after a move that resulted in zero contact between himself and the guy he passed.

            We aren’t still calling Vettel the “crash kid” so lets move on…

          2. @geemac

            I remember that….

            Ah good times.

    3. I agree. Sad for Kvyat. RB have push their drivers hard and he has been burnt here. It’s like a brake pad that didn’t last 50 laps. Replaced by something else. The difference with a brake pad and a driver is that a brake pad is what it is. A driver may get better in the future.

      TBH, I support RB promoting Verstappen. Kvyat did not deliver. The pressure got to him and Ricciardo owned him mentally. However, I watched the Thursday Press conference and I can’t think of another time in the whole of my time watching F1 where someone has been so totally demoralised and forced to face the cameras. If he had cried, I probably would have too. I think he was close at one point. I was.

      Demotion deserved? Possibly. Harsh Yes! But that is F1. The thing that makes it so harsh is that other teams keep drivers who they shouldn’t keep. Yet RB discard OK drivers like licked lollypops. It puts this decision in the spotlight, but I do kind of think that more teams should be a bit more ruthless. I can think of another 5+ drivers who are more worthy of being turfed than Kvyat. But that doesn’t make RB the bad guys, it makes them the smart ones.

      The others need to lift there game and get rid of the dead wood too. For instance, why does Ferrari pay Kimi massive dollars to under deliver each year when they can pay nothing for another young driver who may also under deliver but may also be the next big thing? Kimi is never going to be the next big thing. I like Kimi, but paying him big dollars is just plain stupid. RB would never do something like that.

  5. What, no conspiracy theories over HAM getting a new design of MGU and Rosberg having to use the old unreliable unit? If that was LuLu his ‘fans’ would be crying foul all over again! Love the hypocrisy.

    1. When Rosberg, or one of the other 7 Merc engine equip cars has a engine issue, then you can claim the unit is unreliable.

    2. Yeah even if HAM beats ROS this weekend it seems that his engine is a new and improved one.

      Mercede are pandering to him because his fans who believe in such conspiracy theories are nutcases. Cannot believe that they are so easily influenced. Rather than fix the problem an keep the unit they seemed to have decided to give a brand new upgraded version.

      1. Actually, reading about it, they are sort of hoping that a slightly different design, very carefully assembled, won’t break @khanistanF1; I’d also guess that with HAM only having two ‘free’ units left, the team gave him an improved version they were going to introduce in a few races after more testing, so that if it doesn’t break, he won’t automatically needs to take a penalty later on. If it does break, at least the new unit gave on track data… Not really pandering, that.

        1. Ok that’s a fair point actually giving him the new unit early has pros and cons. Fair enough.

      2. You must be a senior engineer at Mercedes F1 to have the facts to support such a penetrating insight.

        1. Pretty much what I was thinking.

          I don’t know what or how they do things, but given they have delivered the last two championships to the team, I trust them on this one.

      3. Such nonsense… what would you say if ROS beats him?

    3. sunny stivala
      13th May 2016, 6:48

      there is something just not right with what is being said/reported re the merecedes car 44 MGU-H, If Mercedes only replaces car 44 MGU-H with a new MGU-H design they will be running/using 2 different MGU-H specifications. Mercedes seems to be unsure that the fault is with the MGU-H itself, to the extant of a new design being needed to solve the problem, if a new design was needed to solve the problem they would not risk not changing MGU-H on both cars.

  6. l personally would love to see more talent coming up from other backgrounds, nationalities, and from developing countries, it would be great for F1 and the fans world wide….Shame due the nature of F1, talent cant be seen on soccer grounds in Africa.
    Nationalism and F1 have played a part with teams and drivers. and because of F1 culture, most teams have been based in Briton, and there was always a advantage of being a Brit driver getting into F1 until recent times….a good example is when Frank Williams cars where dominate in 90s and early 2000s, Frank gave the likes of Hill, Button and DC all their first F1 races in the best car on the grid… l wonder if these drivers had of started at the back of the grid how many seasons they would of stayed in F1….Now if we can only get rid of the talentless rich kid drivers coming into F1

    1. That same Williams team also gave a seat to figures such as Villeneuve, Frentzen, Patrese and Ralf Schumacher in a similar time frame, so it wasn’t as if Williams were being that biased towards British drivers (Button was the last British driver to drive for them back in 2000).

      If anything, you were far more likely to come across a French or Italian driver in the early 1990’s than a British one – remember figures like Grouillard, Alliot or Comas being given drives, or perhaps Larini, Capelli and Morbidelli? It wasn’t as if those drivers were always good either – for example, Alliot was so accident prone that Hunt called him one of the worst drivers ever to have taken part in F1.

    2. You forgot Hamilton in the Mclaren. He didn’t start at the back of the grid either did he ?

  7. I’m glad to hear so many opinions about Red Bull’s decision. It’s not their business but it’s good to hear that they also think Red Bull should give more time to their drivers.

    Nowadays specially these guys are rushed into F1 and then, in Kvyat’s case, rushed into a top team way too quickly. Hamilton had years of eating miles and miles testing McLaren cars, so did Alonso and Massa with Renault and Ferrari. Even after their F1 debuts!

    I understand Red Bull’s move concerning Verstappen: they want him at their camp. But this way of “developing” drivers must be hugely costly for them…

  8. This is Kvyat’s third year in F1.

    In his first year, he was thrown into an unreliable midfield car against a rated experienced driver. Then, for his second year, he gets thrown into an underperforming top team against a “champion-killer” teammate.

    Yes, geniuses like Verstappen might be able to handle the rushing (and we’ll have to see how he deals with the pressure this year, because until now his only measuring stick was another unknown quantity, now he has to deal with a proven driver), but some drivers take some nurturing to start shining. Kvyat’s only chance might be the fact Red Bull’s junior program looks a bit underwhelming right now, so unless Pierre Gasly starts performing he might get a 3rd year at Toro Rosso.

    Also, Horner’s comments should serve as a warning to Sainz Jr. He doesn’t have room at Red Bull (unless Ricciardo gets demolished by Verstappen, which is unlikely). He should start looking for another seat (and sponsors, that should help).

    1. I feel the same about Sainz @casjo. I don’t see him going to RB. And if he is such a disturbance to Toro Rosso, other teams will think twice before hiring him.

  9. Thanks for CotD @keithcollantine!

    1. A good one too @jaymenon10. While I am not sure touring cars has the fan base currently to build up a brand I am convinced that your point about first having to get anyone to actually know the brand is on the map and having an exciting line of cars to sell before moving on to promote those with motorsports is spot on.

      When DTM was at its high, I used to watch those alfa’s dominate :-)

      Alfa did make some exciting cars, but currently i don’t even know what markets they are actually in and what cars they sell.

  10. ColdFly F1 (@)
    13th May 2016, 6:11

    I just learned that the Netherlands will swap songs with Russia at Eurovision Song Contest.

  11. Thanks for the story about Venezuela @keithcollantine, a really sad story about a political experiment that went horribly bad for the people of the country.

    On one hand I think it’s a shame that Maldonado never got that breakthrough that might have made him a great driver. On the other hand we can only be glad that his government is not wasting any more money supporting his F1 career. Especially when the money will have contributed to his failure to learn from mistakes (as money solves every problem, right)

    1. Actually @willwood tipped me off on that one.

      1. Well, thanks for including it. And thanks Will for the tip!

    2. Reading that makes me understand how lucky I am to be able to sit in front of a pc chatting about a race I’ll watch on the weekend.

      I’ll be getting pizza. That makes me lucky and I understand that.

  12. Colin Hope
    13th May 2016, 7:32

    The front wing picture shows why F1 costs are so high. Make it simple and less vulnerable.

  13. ColdFly F1 (@)
    13th May 2016, 7:45

    That’s a really insightful comment, @bascb.

    the money will have contributed to (Maldonado’s) failure to learn from mistakes

    Some people might assess his talent differently when taking that into account.

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    13th May 2016, 8:13

    @jaymenon10 A GT3 project might be an even better, especially in relation to Marchionne’s own ambition to establish Alfa as a sporting brand. It is rumoured that a replacement for the 8c Competizione is the pipeline, which would be perfect for GT3 conversion. It’s just a lower platform that could eventually lead to F1, but as I have discussed, GT racing is doing well enough at the moment anyway: https://opinionatedmotorsportfan.com/2016/05/11/opinion-why-gt-racing-has-stolen-the-show-so-far-in-2016/

  15. I hope LH doesn’t say that when racing in Monaco or Singapore.

    1. Ha ha!

  16. Tony Mansell
    13th May 2016, 15:35

    As an Alfa Romeo Brera owner I wholeheartedly disagree with the COTD. Its probably more to do with him getting older . Certainly I covet less cars than I did when I were a teen and earlier. I used to sit in my dads Saab Turbo for hours..whilst it was parked in the garage, pretending to drive. Now I cant wait to get out of it !


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